Balance is something we all take for granted, until we lose it. Then we find ourselves on the ground with scraped knees and bruised egos, and we realize balance is an integral aspect of our daily lives. Balance is also integral to the sports we play, and improving your balance can help you take your game to the next level.
The following is a list of some of the most popular sports and ways balance plays a role in each:
Baseball – Hitting a baseball is all about balance. There’s primarily two different times when balance comes into play during an at-bat. The first is when you take your stance. Having good balance allows you to move in all directions while keeping your feet in place and staying steady. The second time balance comes into play is after the swing when the body needs to remain upright and steady during the follow-through. A lack of balance in any direction directly impacts your power, ability to make contact, direction of the ball, and speed down the first base line.
Soccer – You’re never standing on both feet at the same time when you run, and soccer is a game of running. Balance is pivotal to being able to quickly change directions when running, whether you juke left or right. Players with good balance can fake out defenders and recover quickly when someone tries to put a move on them. Those without good balance are left on the grass.
Football – Throwing a football requires similar balance to hitting a baseball (mentioned above), however, unlike hitting, football quarterbacks are rarely standing still when they pass. The motion has to be accomplished on the run from some very large people trying to tackle you, and the slightest bit of imbalance can mean the difference between a completion and an interception. It can also mean a major injury when the big guys finally make contact.
When playing any sport, the athletes who are able to move about the field and perform the mechanics needed for the task at hand with the least amount of unnecessary movements are going to rise above the rest. Fluidity comes from balance, while a lack of balance creates the need for additional effort, exhaustion, and a breakdown of form.
While you may not always be aware of the need for balance, it requires just as much attention and conditioning as any other aspect of your game in order to succeed.